Today was Ottokar’s 107th birthday. I just realized that I will be 64 in February. That means I will be the same age my dad was when I came back from a year in Asia and left again, after a couple of months, for America. He seemed so old to me at the time. I don’t feel old. It’s always a surprise when I think of my age. I guess there is a reason why I don’t get carted when I buy alcohol. I actually laughed out loud when I figured out when my dad turned 64, at the end of 1979. I am truly grateful for how relatively easy my life has been. No war for me, no fascism… although we seem to be edging closer. I wasn’t denied entry to university, as he was when he returned from war. Too old they told him… Me, I just didn’t want to go to university. My choice. I didn’t have a mother who was mean, like he did. I didn’t have to grow up without a father, as he had to. Thanks Ottokar.
Ottokar completed his life, at the age of 92, in 2008. On the phone, his last words to me were Verdammte Scheisse, because he didn’t like being in a hospital and didn’t like that it might ruin our plans to have him show me Vienna that year, where he had at one point lived for several years.